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Former President Trump in Sioux City sees win ahead in Iowa caucuses, says indictments are politically motivated

Trump Orpheum
Former President Donald Trump stands on the stage of the Orpheum Theatre in Sioux City at the beginning of his rally on Sunday, October 29, 2023. (Bret Hayworth)

SIOUX CITY – The 2024 presidential race came to downtown Sioux City on Sunday afternoon, as in a venue filled with energetic supporters, Republican former president Donald Trump delivered a lengthy speech in which vowed to win re-election and reverse the policy course of President Joe Biden.

Trump several times contended that the reason he faces more than 80 felony charges is because he is speaking out about his loss in what he called the “rigged election” of 2020. He also said that the reason he was indicted is because he stands primed to defeat Biden in 2024.

“They are indicting me to stop you,” Trump said to the crowd.

“We are seeing (polling) numbers that we’ve never seen before, ever. But we’re going to crush Crooked Joe Biden next November. We’re going to Make America Great Again, we’re going to put America first,” Trump said. “Our borders have been demolished, drugs and criminals are pouring in, our economy is a mess, our schools are in shambles, our justice system is corrupt. We have a corrupt justice system, who would have believed?”

Trump variously cited polls showing him with leads of more than 40, 50 or 60 percentage points in the Republican race. While he frequently delivered barbs at Biden, he also for more than 10 minutes went after Republican candidate Ron DeSantis and, to a lesser extent, Nikki Haley, who he cited as “bird brain.” Both Haley and Trump campaigned in Northwest Iowa two weeks ago, as the Republican race heats up.

Trump was speaking in the Orpheum Theatre, a venue that can hold 2,600 people and was largely full, where he encouraged Iowans to support him in the Iowa caucuses in January. That is the first contest of the selection process for the political parties to select nominees for the November 2024 election.

Trump began his speech by standing on the stage in front of many flags while the Lee Greenwood "God Bless The USA" song played, then mistakenly cited being in Sioux Falls, "a place where we've done very well." Sioux Falls is the largest city in South Dakota, located 85 miles from Sioux City. Later in the speech he correctly placed the venue as Sioux City.

People applauded most loudly when Trump said he would defend the Mexican border against undocumented migrants, defend Second Amendment gun owning rights, and not allow any funding to school districts that put in place coronavirus vaccine mandates.

John Searls, of Sioux City, voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020. Searls said the best portions of Trump’s speech included his goal to secure the border and having a strong military.

Kari Rettig, of Vermillion, South Dakota, said she was not a Trump fan back in 2015 when he was among many Republican office seekers. Rettig said became a big Trump fan due to his actions while president.

“When he was president, I felt safe,” she said.

Another Republican presidential candidate, Vivek Ramiswamy, is campaigning at 6 p.m. Monday in Sioux City at Stoney Creek Inn. Mike Pence, who served as Vice President in the Trump administration, dropped out of the race yesterday.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Listen to Trump's entire speech by clicking the link at the top of this page.

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